River Plate had just emphatically overturned a first leg defeat to book their place in the Copa Libertadores semi final and it had looked as though San Lorenzo would meet them after defeating Lanús last week. However, another dramatic turn of events saw El Granate cancel out the advantage and take the tie to penalties before claiming a historic place in the last four.
Nicolás Blandi’s brace in the first leg one week ago looked to have San Lorenzo on the brink of the Copa Libertadores semi final.
Lanús are not the same side that swept Los Cuervos aside to lift the 2016 Transición title but came out firing in La Fortaleza on Thursday and after ten minutes had reduced the deficit with José Sand firing into the roof of the net from close range.
The home side’s perfect start got even better when Nicolás Pasquini’s flicked header looped over Nicolas Navarro and into the net to level the aggregate score.
It could have been worse for San Lorenzo as José Sand crashed a shot against the bar and in a rare moment of quality at the other end Fernando Belluschi almost snatched a vital away goal, his long range effort also hitting the woodwork.
Neither side were able to find a decisive next goal and so with the score at 2-2 the tie went to penalties.
Lanús were perfect from the spot and so when Matías Caruzzo’s miss handed the home side the advantage, it was left to goalkeeper Esteban Andrada to save his second from Nicolás Blandi and clinch the shootout.
It might be a first time in the Copa Libertadores last four for Lanús but Jorge Almirón’s side are not content with that. El Granate will provide River Plate with stiff opposition when a place in the final is at stake.